Thalia @ Pictures in the Words

I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!



Currently Reading

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Andy Weir
Progress: 31/369 pages
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The Children of Húrin
J.R.R. Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien
Progress: 313/313 pages

Austenland (Review)

Austenland - Shannon Hale

I went against my better judgment and watched the film adaption of this book with some friends. It was absolutely fantastic, so although this has been on my to-read list for quite some time already, I immediately picked up a copy and made it a reading priority. Now, I hate watching film versions of books before I read them—I don’t like expecting things because of what I saw in the movie, because books and their movies are very rarely completely similar. So I found myself a little frustrated when I read this because the entire tone was so different from the film, and I’d already fallen in love with the story. I didn’t feel like the book was “right”, which drove me up a wall since I knew it was the film that was inaccurate and not the other way around. However, I honestly tried to put my feelings aside, though I can’t say I was completely objective about it.


Despite all that, and despite my liking the movie more in the end, this really was a fun read. It went by quickly and it was lighthearted and enjoyable. I loved the narrator’s tone when they told Jane’s story and how she moves about in Austenland, flipping between wanting to totally immerse herself in the world and feeling ridiculous because of it. It was fresh and uplifting and it told a really good story. I couldn’t help comparing the two versions I knew, and at the end of the day, I just couldn’t appreciate this story as much as I had before. There were some things that just didn’t work very well, but it was still really fun overall.


What I Liked:

  • I’m a sucker for lighthearted chick-lit, and that’s exactly what this is. It was funny, sweet, and so unrealistic at times that I felt like I was reading honest-to-goodness chick-lit. It felt so good just to laugh at the humor and giggle at the cuteness. I think Austenland would really appeal to anyone, especially because so many people understand the obsession with Mr. Darcy (I still remember the first I watched Pride and Prejudice, with no previous knowledge of the book or anything surrounding it—consider me hooked!). It was just very well written and well done and it’s just one of those sweet and sassy novels that you can’t help but love.


What I Didn’t Like:

  • The only thing that really bothered me about this novel was how distant the narrator was from Jane. The narrator felt really outside the rest of the story, even though it was technically in Jane’s head. It made me feel slightly disconnected from the story, and I couldn’t fully immerse myself in it because of that.


Overall: This was a really enjoyable book, and I’d definitely recommend it! The movie was a little more family-friendly, but it was still appropriate for most ages. The whole story was light and fun and sassy, and when you just need a breather from sad and difficult stories, this is a perfect one to throw in!